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Fonterra is working on something that could potentially make people smarter.
The co-op already had research and development expertise in how nutrition supported ageing brains and had also earned a reputation as a world leader in paediatric nutrition research, CEO of Fonterra Asia Pacific, Judith Swales said.
"Now we're looking at making a difference for everyone," Swales told The Country Sport Breakfast's Brian Kelly.
"We're taking our farmers' milk, along with some other ingredients that we've sourced, to improve people's cognitive performance and ease their stress levels."
It all had to do with something called blue light, which was a "hot topic" when it came to cognitive function, Swales said.
"Our modern way of life is really taking a toll on our cognitive performance – we're working harder ... longer ... faster.
"Screens are such a part of our everyday life whether we like it or not and a lot of us can be staring at a screen for over eight hours a day, and it really takes a toll on your eyes, brain and body."
Blue light from digital screens was the core of the problem, disrupting sleep and impacting eye health. It could even affect colour perception and quality of vision, Swales said.
Fonterra had been working on the problem for "a number of years" and through this research and expertise, the co-op believed it had reached a significant potential breakthrough, she said.
"Let's take our learnings from developing infant nutrition and cognition and apply it to optimise adult brains and help cognitive performance."
To achieve this, Fonterra added three nutrient bundles that supported cognition, visual performance and mood, to its milk.
One example was ThinkSharp which included phosphatidylserine, and vitamins B6, B12 and pantothenic acid.
"Combined, these can help support cognitive function - memory, focus - particularly under stress."
Another was Pro-Sight, an eye care bundle that included Lutein and Zeaxanthin from plants, which helped filter blue and UV light.
The co-op had even developed a licensed cognitive profiling platform.
"It's a bit of a fitness test for your brain."
The 40-minute online assessment tested cognitive ability across 12 areas and more than 3000 people had completed their cognitive profile already, Swales said.
"They came from all different professions, like e-sport gamers - which is where this actually really all started - corporate professionals [and] New Zealand Badminton players."
The co-op was also trialling different solutions to assess how to help participants improve their results, Swales said.
"There's still more work to do, but we are confident we can help people improve their cognitive performance."